Clyburn Statement on Reverend Shuttlesworth

Oct 7, 2011

WASHINGTON – U.S. House Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn released the following statement on the passing yesterday of Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth at the age of 89:

“This nation has lost a towering figure for justice and the rights of all human beings, and I have lost a dear friend and mentor.

“When I reflect upon the life and legacy of Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth, I am reminded of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous Letter from the Birmingham Jail, in which he wrote, ‘I am in Birmingham because injustice is here.’ Reverend Shuttlesworth courageously stood up to injustice in Alabama and elsewhere and taught us through his example the power of creative nonviolence for the cause of social justice.

“I feel fortunate to have been with him earlier this year as we celebrated the anniversary of the march at the Edmund Pettis Bridge. He was one of those people whose impact was not fully appreciated until his later years when he received well-deserved recognition for his significant contributions. I am proud to be associated with his wonderful legacy as the 2010 recipient of the Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award.

“I remember during the marches and demonstrations for civil rights in the 1960s, he was one of those people who made you feel that everything you were undertaking was well worth the risks. His was a tremendous life well-lived.

“May God grant eternal rest to the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth.”